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As an inter-faith network of religious leaders living with or affected by HIV, INERELA+ seeks to empower religious leaders through education, knowledge and skills to live positively, becoming symbols of hope and agents of change who will help eliminate stigma and discrimination within their congregations and communities.

Our Mission

INERELA+ is an international, interfaith network of religious leaders – both lay and ordained, women and men – who are living with or personally affected by HIV.

It is universally recognized that religious leaders have a unique authority that plays a central role in providing moral and ethical guidance within their communities; indeed their public opinions can influence entire nations. INERELA+ looks to empower its members to use their positions within their faith communities in a way that breaks silence, challenges stigma and provides delivery of evidenced-based prevention, care, and treatment services.

Sixty per cent of people living with HIV are located in sub-Saharan Africa, thus ANERELA+ was merged into INERELA+.

Based on the realities of the HIV pandemic in the rest of the world, it was decided to create regional networks based on shared elements of history, language, culture and religion.

INERELA+ has 16 active, country networks in the African Region. We also have a presence in Asia/Pacific, Canada, Americas, Europe and Central Asia.

Since the start in 2006, the networks have grown to encompass over 10,000 members across five continents. These members will mobilize their respective faith communities to provide accurate information and other services to an estimated 2.5 million people around the world, helping to reduce HIV-related silence, stigma, shame, and discrimination, and thereby reducing the number of new infections.

Objectives

Inerela + VISION

INERELA+ envisages a society free of HIV related stigma and discrimination, with empowered, resilient religious leaders living with or personally affected by HIV and AIDS.

Inerela + MISSION

As an inter-faith network of religious leaders living with or affected by HIV, INERELA+ seeks to empower religious leaders through education, knowledge and skills to live positively, becoming symbols of hope and agents of change who will help eliminate stigma and discrimination within their congregations and communities.

Inerela + GOAL

By 2018, INERELA+ will have contributed to, increased HIV testing and levels of disclosure; reduced HIV related stigma and discrimination; reduced human rights abuses, and AIDS-related deaths among religious leaders living with and affected by HIV, especially in Africa.

INERELA+ is guided by the following values

Acceptance + Accompaniment + Compassion + Courage + Integrity + Transparency + Inclusiveness + Upholding Human Rights

Strategic Objectives

To build the capacity of religious leaders living with or affected by HIV and AIDS to become symbols of hope and agents of change through resilience and positive living at community level primarily in Southern Africa but also extending to the rest of the world.

To position and promote the focus of INERELA+ clearly and concisely through a communication strategy that popularizes the preferred programmatic approach among the international community and to foster consistent programmatic emphasis at the country level.

To clarify the mandate of the network in terms of the roles and responsibilities of the international secretariat, regional offices, national secretariat and network members.

INERELA+’s core business is to eradicate all forms of stigma and discrimination and thus contribute to increased levels of HIV testing and disclosure, reduced AIDS-related deaths and human rights abuses.

Sex and Sexuality

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)

INERELA+ promotes sexual and reproductive health with a right supported by knowledge, skills and the ability to make responsible, positive, informed and safe sexual choices. The SAVE Toolkit includes chapters on sex, sexuality and gender which is inclusive of sexual diversity.

Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Information (CSE&I)

Faith communities supported by INERELA+ networks implement CSE&I at congregational and community levels. The program is targeted at children of 5 – 18 years age group and focuses on teenage pregnancies including contraceptives and forced sterilization of women and girls living with HIV and AIDS.

Objectives

Gender based violence (GBV)

INERELA+ encourages all members to openly combat discrimination against women and girls in the form of GBV translated as physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economic violence.

Sexual Diversity (LGBTIQ)

The goal of this project is to engage heterosexist religious orthodoxy and practices and challenge religious institutions, through theology from different faiths, to be more accepting of sexual diversity. To achieve this, INERELA+ convenes consultative dialogues between religious leaders and sexual minorities in open and constructive spaces at national and regional levels. This enables them to be advocates for SRHR of all key populations.
In order to inform and facilitate dialogues, INERELA+ conducts surveys of stigma and discrimination experienced by PLHIV and LGBTI from faith communities. This survey is a methodology adopted from Stigma Index developed by GNP+ in consultation with INERELA+.

Transformative Masculinity

This project ensures that men and boys are included in HIV related prevention, treatment, care and support programs implemented at the congregational and community levels.